Russian national airline Aeroflot announced Saturday it will be suspending all international flights, starting on Tuesday, March 8.
AEROFLOT.- The carrier already is extremely limited on where it can fly as nearly 40 countries, including the United States, Canada, and all members of the European Union, have banned Russian airlines from their respective airspace.
But an equally large concern for Aeroflot is that economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations put the airline’s aircraft at risk of being impounded or repossessed if they were leased by Aeroflot by a foreign nation, according to Business Insider.
As part of the EU’s sanctions for retaliation against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, any country that leased a plane to Russia has until March 28 to end the contract.
In a statement, Aeroflot said it would halt all international flights beginning March 8 – except to neighboring Belarus, a Russian ally – “due to the occurrence of additional circumstances that impede the operation of flights.”
That will make it extraordinarily difficult for foreigners to leave Russia, particularly American citizens who reside there or who are currently traveling there. The U.S. State Department on Saturday issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory against travel to Russia and told American citizens already in the country to leave “immediately.”
Simply put, Russia has been isolated from an aviation standpoint, including its own flagship airline as well as S7, its largest private airline which also announced it was suspending international flights.
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